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SPORTS PEOPLE: HOCKEY;
New Rules for Rookies

Published: June 20, 1990

LEAD: Last week, the Calder Trophy for the 1989-90 season, symbolizing the N.H.L. rookie of the year, went to Sergei Makarov of Calgary, a right wing from the Soviet Union. But he is 32 years old, had played 11 seasons with the Central Red Army team and had participated in three Olympics and 10 world championships.

Last week, the Calder Trophy for the 1989-90 season, symbolizing the N.H.L. rookie of the year, went to Sergei Makarov of Calgary, a right wing from the Soviet Union. But he is 32 years old, had played 11 seasons with the Central Red Army team and had participated in three Olympics and 10 world championships. Could he really be considered a rookie? Not to Brian O'Neill, the league vice president, who has established a new ground rule for the Calder voting: in the future, a player will have to be younger than 26 to win the prize. The other major qualification will remain unchanged: a nominee must have played fewer than 25 N.H.L. games the previous year or 26 the previous two years to be eligible.

''Markarov was qualified,'' O'Neill said. ''But in terms of fairness, he was obviously too old. This player was considered a rookie with far too much experience.''(AP)